Comparing Victor and Calvin, or a discussion of the fine line between man and monsters

Today’s lovely cover image is by Esteban Arboleda Bermudez.

Last week I compared and contrasted Lenore and Grace. That was a lot of fun, so I thought I’d do it again. This week, I want to compare Victor and Calvin.

Unlike with Grace and Lenore, when the point was that I wanted them to not mirror each other, Victor and Calvin have more similarities than not. Of course, one’s an out and out monster, while the other is a hero. But that’s sort of the point of these two.

There’s a thin line between a man and monster. Or a woman and monster for that matter. That’s why I wanted to write this book, though. Calvin is a monster, but that’s not all that he is. Victor is a hero, but there are shadows in his past as well.

So let’s compare these two brothers and see what made one a king and one a killer.

Victor, as you may know if you’ve read the first trilogy, sees shades of gray. He walks between the legal and illegal side of Septa, visiting prostitutes and being on good terms with the kings of the underworld. But he’s a good man, good father, a good husband. And as he embraces the dark and light in himself, he accepts the good and bad in the people he interacts with.

Calvin doesn’t see shades of grey. He sees black and white, good and bad. Septa stole land from Calistar decades ago, they will always be bad. The aristocracy of Calistar is evil, all of them. The Brotherhood are good men, everyone. Their women and children are good and worth doing anything to save.

It’s a simple and clear world view and one that’s totally wrong. I suppose the duality of these two characters shows my own bias. The mentality that they are good and we are bad is the root of all evil in the world, in my opinion.

Another difference between Victor and Calvin is loyalty and their opinion of it. For Calvin, loyalty is essential, no matter the situation. Once you are loyal to someone, you had better stay loyal to them. Once you hate someone, you’d better keep right on hating them.

No matter the future actions of that person.

For Victor, loyalty is earned and can be lost. And while it might take some time to earn it, it takes only a moment to lose it. 

That aside, the two have more in common than they don’t. Neither of them has much patience for laziness. Both have a view of how women and men are supposed to be, though Victor’s opinion about that changes. And both would do anything, even horrible things, for their children.

I hope you enjoy seeing a different side of Calvin from the one we saw in the Woven trilogy. He’s a lot more than just a monster, though he is certainly that. 

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